WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Brewers shutout Braves 5-0
ATLANTA - Marco Estrada pitched seven scoreless innings last night, as the Milwaukee Brewers shut out the Braves in Atlanta, 5-0.
Estrada gave up just two hits and three walks. He struck out six, on the night after the Braves clinched the National League East crown and sluggers Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman were given the night off. Still, Estrada looked impressive as he extended his personal winning streak to three games. He's now 7-4, as he actively campaigns for a spot in Milwaukee's rotation next year. Jonathan Lucroy hit a two-run homer for the Crew. Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez also went yard, as the Brewers have won two straight after dropping three in a row. Brewer pitching record its 14th shutout of the year, the fourth-highest in the National League. Braves' manager Fredi Gonzalez was ejected in the seventh inning, when he argued that Paul Janish should have been awarded first for being hit by a pitch on his left thigh. Umpire Angel Hernandez ruled that Janish didn't do enough to avoid being hit. Replays confirmed that he leaned into the pitch. Atlanta still has a half-game lead for home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. The Brewers ended an eight-game losing streak at Turner Field, and is now 3-1 against Atlanta this season. The two teams will play again tonight. Right-hander Tyler Thornburg starts against Braves' right-hander Freddy Garcia.
Central Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann will not pitch in the playoffs for a second straight year. His Washington Nationals were eliminated last night with a 4-3 loss at Saint Louis. It allowed the two teams ahead of the Brewers in the National League Central -- Pittsburgh and Cincinnati -- to clinch playoff spots, along with the Cardinals which clinched on Sunday. Meanwhile, Zimmermann still has a chance to become the only National League pitcher to win 20 games this season. The former UW-Stevens Point right-hander from Auburndale is 19-8 with one more start later in the week. He pitched a two-hitter against Miami last Friday night, striking out nine. Zimmermann now has four complete games and a pair of shutouts. Until now, he has said that making the playoffs is much more important that his individual accomplishments -- including a 20-win season that's getting rarer in the Majors. One more victory would make Zimmermann the first right-hander in Nationals' franchise history to win 20.
The Green Bay Packers cut receiver and kick returner Jeremy Ross yesterday. Coach Mike McCarthy said it all came down to his production and performance -- or lack thereof. Ross fumbled a kickoff return at Cincinnati on Sunday on what was supposed to be the Packers' first possession, down 7-0. He appeared to lose the ball in the sun as the Bengals recovered -- and it was soon 14-0 Cincinnati before Aaron Rodgers could take a snap. Ross handled two punt returns without incident this season, and he averaged a sub-par 12-and-a-half yards on six kickoff returns. McCarthy is trying to avoid using Randall Cobb as a returner, so he can improve his roles as both a receiving and rushing target on offense. Rookies Johnathan Franklin and Micah Hyde both took kicks at Training Camp. Also, McCarthy said it's possible the Packers would bring somebody in. He said it hinges on the game plan being developed for Green Bay's next game against Detroit on October sixth at Lambeau Field. The Packers have their bye this weekend.
University of Wisconsin starting inside linebacker Derek Landisch is expected to return on Saturday night, when the Badgers play at unbeaten Ohio State. Coach Gary Andersen said yesterday that Landisch would share playing time with senior Conor O'Neill -- who made his first two collegiate starts after Landisch injured an ankle in the Badgers' season opening win over UMass. Andersen said he would try to create a rotation for the two inside linebacker spots with O'Neill, Landisch, and Chris Borland. He said the Badgers would need to stay fresh, since Ohio State likes to make teams defend from sideline-to-sideline. As Andersen put it, "We'll be running a lot sideways this week." The coach was not sure yet whether O'Neill or Landisch would start along with Borland. The 23rd-ranked Badgers are 1-0 in the Big Ten and 3-1 overall. Number-four Ohio State will play its conference opener, after going 4-0 in its non-league schedule.
Mequon Homestead remains at No. 1 among the large schools in the new AP state high school football poll. Homestead is 5-0, along with No. 2 Kimberly. Hartland Arrowhead is third, and Sun Prairie fourth. West De Pere continues to be the leader among the medium-sized schools. Waupaca is second, followed by Walworth Big Foot and Waukesha Catholic Memorial. In the small school group, Fond du Lac St. Mary's Springs is still first. Edgar, Lancaster, and Shiocton are right behind.
The Milwaukee Bucks held their annual charity golf outing yesterday, a week before they begin their training camp. The players will need name tags, with 11 newcomers to the Bucks' roster. Only four Milwaukee players are returning from a year ago -- big men Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova, Ekpe Udoh, and John Henson. Three veterans will begin their second stints with Milwaukee -- guard Luke Ridnour, forward Carlos Delfino, and center Zaza Pachulia. Racine native Caron Butler is joining his home-state N-B-A team for the first time. They'll all be led by a new coach, Larry Drew from Atlanta. Drew said a lot of teaching would take place in a very short time to get all the players on the same page. He says they'll need every second of Training Camp to develop a chemistry. The Bucks will have seven practices before their first exhibition game on October 8th at Cleveland.
The University of Wisconsin women's hockey team shut out the Japanese national squad 3-0 in an exhibition game last night in Madison. Katy Josephs, Brittany Ammerman, and Madison Packer scored for Wisconsin -- which held its first practice of the season just last Saturday. Alex Rigsby had 12 saves before giving way to freshman Ann-Renee Desbiens halfway through the second period. She had 16 saves. Wisconsin out-shot Japan 53-28. The Badgers will open their regular season on Oct. 4 against Minnesota State.
Milwaukee Marquette has regained the top spot in the boys' state high school volleyball poll from the coaches' association. Waukesha Catholic Memorial dropped to second, after spending a week at No. 1. Each team received 11 first-place votes. Burlington is third, followed by Germantown and Waukesha West.
In Major League Baseball...
Milwaukee 5, Atlanta 0
Pittsburgh 2, Chicago Cubs 1
Minnesota 4, Detroit 3 in 11 innings
Chicago White Sox 3, Toronto 2